Is the LSAT really objective?

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shredderrrrrr
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Is the LSAT really objective?

Postby shredderrrrrr » Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:56 am

Everyone claims the LSAT is the one true objective measure for law school applicants. But I have to ask if this is really true. For 4 sections + the writing sample, everything is equal. But I can't help but feel the expiremental section throws this off. I realize everyone views different sections as easiest, but I think many would agree that LR sections are more draining than LG. If you got a third LR section, I would therefore think you would have a more challenging test than someone who got a second LG section.

I remember for the June test, I had 2 RC, 2 LR, and 1LG. Others, however, had 1 RC, 2 LR, and 2LG. Are these truly the same difficulty? I realize the same questions are scored, but as far as mental strain is concerned, they seem totally different.

I'm in no way complaining. It is more of just a half-assed thought that I was curious about.

benito
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Re: Is the LSAT really objective?

Postby benito » Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:09 pm

theres no such thing as 100% objectivity, and although you're right that "many people would agree" LR is more draining than AR, many other people including myself would claim just the opposite. Some people might find certain types of logic games very easy while others may struggle with that type and have no problem with another. Some people may wake up with a stomachache that day and others may not. So in assessing the merits of the LSAT you can't compare it to some theoretically perfect test, you can only judge it against whats realistically feasible. It does a pretty good job.

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KibblesAndVick
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Re: Is the LSAT really objective?

Postby KibblesAndVick » Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:23 pm

Test takers have different proctors, have to sit next to different people, deal with different weather the day of the test, so on and so forth. Even the best test takers have a range of scores they bounce around in between practice tests. You take one practice test on Monday and get a 172, take another on Wednesday and get a 175, and take the real thing on Saturday and get a 173. It's not perfect but it's significantly more objective than anything else they use to evaluate applicants.

etymology
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Re: Is the LSAT really objective?

Postby etymology » Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:08 pm

It's not perfect but I don't think that's as much because of the variables in the test day conditions as it is in the content of the test itself. Like I understand most people thought the June 2011 RC was hard, but 8 years ago I saw a NOVA episode on the earth's changing polarity and I ended up with a -0. But if Oct 2011 has something like the Australian contingency-based legal fees passage, I might be on a -6.

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suspicious android
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Re: Is the LSAT really objective?

Postby suspicious android » Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:15 pm

Even LSAC doesn't claim the LSAT is uniformly preicse, that's why they have the scoring band to weasel out of any argument about test day variations, or differences between one test form and another. Sure, the schools pretty much ignore the scoring band, but at least LSAC puts it out there, so their hands are clean.

Seneca
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Re: Is the LSAT really objective?

Postby Seneca » Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:12 pm

I got the 2 LG sections on the June test, and I think it was beneficial for me. I'd also taken a geology course that I believe helped with RC. But that doesn't make any of the next sections/questions any easier, and while it's not completely objective, it's certainly not significantly biased towards anyone, and correct answers aren't subjective - there's no deciding between which answer choice is "most correct," there's just ONE correct answer and a bunch of bad ones. What makes the LSAT a relatively consistent measurement of performance is not the individual test taker's individual score - it's that there's a regression to a norm over multiple tests taken by a single test taker, and consistency in score ranges and accuracy across the testing population in the scoring scale applied at the end.

tomwatts
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Re: Is the LSAT really objective?

Postby tomwatts » Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:53 pm

I suppose someone's alluded to this already, but there's a difference between "objective" and "uniform." Certainly people's experiences with the test are not uniform (as noted above, that's the reason for the score band). However, people's experiences are not completely, radically different. Even if the experimental throws you off a little bit, it probably throws you off a point or two, not ten or twenty points. If somebody comes to you and says, "Man, I really would've nailed that 175 except for that darned experimental LR, and that's why I got a 160," you probably wouldn't believe him.

Now, a point or three can make a difference. The difference between a 170 and a 167 will matter to some schools, even if they're within the same score band. But it's not the difference between a 170 and a 155.

Now, is the LSAT objective? That's a separate issue (and probably easily answered with a "yes").

Curious1
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Re: Is the LSAT really objective?

Postby Curious1 » Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:57 pm

suspicious android wrote:Even LSAC doesn't claim the LSAT is uniformly preicse, that's why they have the scoring band to weasel out of any argument about test day variations, or differences between one test form and another. Sure, the schools pretty much ignore the scoring band, but at least LSAC puts it out there, so their hands are clean.


Agree. You probably do go in with a general number range depending on your prep and innate abilities, but its always going to be +/-5 points based on luck (noise, bladder control, sickness, proctors,dim room, cold room, 3 LRs, etc.)

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Kabuo
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Re: Is the LSAT really objective?

Postby Kabuo » Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:59 pm

shredderrrrrr wrote:Everyone claims the LSAT is the one true objective measure for law school applicants. But I have to ask if this is really true. For 4 sections + the writing sample, everything is equal. But I can't help but feel the expiremental section throws this off. I realize everyone views different sections as easiest, but I think many would agree that LR sections are more draining than LG. If you got a third LR section, I would therefore think you would have a more challenging test than someone who got a second LG section.

I remember for the June test, I had 2 RC, 2 LR, and 1LG. Others, however, had 1 RC, 2 LR, and 2LG. Are these truly the same difficulty? I realize the same questions are scored, but as far as mental strain is concerned, they seem totally different.

I'm in no way complaining. It is more of just a half-assed thought that I was curious about.


I got 3 LR all 3 times I took the test =\.

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ThreeRivers
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Re: Is the LSAT really objective?

Postby ThreeRivers » Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:24 pm

Its as objective as anything, but that won't do much if you're the one who ends up doing lower than you expect.

On PT 80% of the time I get pretty much the exact same score.
However, 10% of the time I seem to get a random score that is 5 points lower, and 10% of the time I get a score that is 5 points higher.

I'm hoping for my average score (on all 3 measures; mean, median, and mode lol) on Saturday / would be enough, but I guess there is still that 10% chance that I'll get a score that will cause me to have to retake it (please dear god, no). On the other hand, who knows I might get lucky and get the opposite side.

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ThreeRivers
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Re: Is the LSAT really objective?

Postby ThreeRivers » Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:27 pm

LR is by far my best section though but it seems to drain me a lot for some reason. On the contrary I'm not that great on LG's but it doesn't drain me at all (If I took back to back LR, my 2nd LR would definitely be lower). For LG's I could probably take 4 in a row and scores would stay relatively the same

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Bobeo
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Re: Is the LSAT really objective?

Postby Bobeo » Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:13 pm

Kabuo wrote:
shredderrrrrr wrote:Everyone claims the LSAT is the one true objective measure for law school applicants. But I have to ask if this is really true. For 4 sections + the writing sample, everything is equal. But I can't help but feel the expiremental section throws this off. I realize everyone views different sections as easiest, but I think many would agree that LR sections are more draining than LG. If you got a third LR section, I would therefore think you would have a more challenging test than someone who got a second LG section.

I remember for the June test, I had 2 RC, 2 LR, and 1LG. Others, however, had 1 RC, 2 LR, and 2LG. Are these truly the same difficulty? I realize the same questions are scored, but as far as mental strain is concerned, they seem totally different.

I'm in no way complaining. It is more of just a half-assed thought that I was curious about.


I got 3 LR all 3 times I took the test =\.


God I wish I could guarantee 3 LR sections.

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shredderrrrrr
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Re: Is the LSAT really objective?

Postby shredderrrrrr » Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:21 pm

Awesome responses! I guess I got caught up when people would claim that the LSAT was a better indicator for admissions committees than GPA due to its objectivity. I took that to mean LSAT = completely objective and GPA = not. What it's really saying is that LSAT = more objective than GPA. Which is obviously true.

Bobeo: Really??! 3 LRs? Don't get me wrong, I think the actual content of LR is manageable. I actually like doing the problems. They just drain me mentally. I get my head around the question, answer it, then have to completely move on to another question entirely. Constantly changing my state of mind 75 times would kill me. Although you'd probably say LG aren't much better.

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KremeCheez
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Re: Is the LSAT really objective?

Postby KremeCheez » Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:31 pm

Anything but 2 RCs for me please.

Seneca
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Re: Is the LSAT really objective?

Postby Seneca » Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:40 pm

shredderrrrrr wrote:Bobeo: Really??! 3 LRs? Don't get me wrong, I think the actual content of LR is manageable. I actually like doing the problems. They just drain me mentally. I get my head around the question, answer it, then have to completely move on to another question entirely. Constantly changing my state of mind 75 times would kill me. Although you'd probably say LG aren't much better.


Agreed. I was hoping for anything BUT 3 LRs, for the same reason. I would have been just fine with 2 RCs, but 2 LGs was fantastic.

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Kabuo
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Re: Is the LSAT really objective?

Postby Kabuo » Sat Oct 01, 2011 1:12 am

shredderrrrrr wrote:Awesome responses! I guess I got caught up when people would claim that the LSAT was a better indicator for admissions committees than GPA due to its objectivity. I took that to mean LSAT = completely objective and GPA = not. What it's really saying is that LSAT = more objective than GPA. Which is obviously true.

Bobeo: Really??! 3 LRs? Don't get me wrong, I think the actual content of LR is manageable. I actually like doing the problems. They just drain me mentally. I get my head around the question, answer it, then have to completely move on to another question entirely. Constantly changing my state of mind 75 times would kill me. Although you'd probably say LG aren't much better.


This is how I feel about it. I did well enough, and LR was usually my best section, but I would have considered 2 LG a vacation.

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sanjola
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Re: Is the LSAT really objective?

Postby sanjola » Sat Oct 01, 2011 1:58 am

shredderrrrrr wrote:Everyone claims the LSAT is the one true objective measure for law school applicants. But I have to ask if this is really true. For 4 sections + the writing sample, everything is equal. But I can't help but feel the expiremental section throws this off. I realize everyone views different sections as easiest, but I think many would agree that LR sections are more draining than LG. If you got a third LR section, I would therefore think you would have a more challenging test than someone who got a second LG section.

I remember for the June test, I had 2 RC, 2 LR, and 1LG. Others, however, had 1 RC, 2 LR, and 2LG. Are these truly the same difficulty? I realize the same questions are scored, but as far as mental strain is concerned, they seem totally different.

I'm in no way complaining. It is more of just a half-assed thought that I was curious about.


I got 2 LG sections on the February 2009 exam and I scored a few points higher than my PTs. It's completely anecdotal, but it definitely was less draining.


For what it's worth, I was PT'ing with LR and RC sections.




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